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Heat Exhaustion Vs. Heat Stroke: How To Spot The Difference

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Heat Exhaustion Vs. Heat Stroke: How To Spot The Difference

Rising temperatures and humidity are increasing the risk of heat illnesses.

That is according to Cookeville Regional Family Medicine’s Dr. Ernest Buchanan. Buchanan said heat exhaustion and heat stroke are the most common ailments. But, how do you spot the differences?

“Heat exhaustion is when a patient has an elevated temperature, and they can’t continue their activities,” Buchanan said. “Although, they don’t have altered consciousness or delirium or confusion. Heat stroke is a more serious version of that.”

Buchanan said the main distinction between the two illnesses is someone’s mental state. Buchanan said a patient will start to slur words or have trouble comprehending with a heatstroke.

Buchanan said with damage to your organs a possibility, it is best to act fast if someone is experiencing over heating.

“The main thing is to start cooling immediately,” Buchanan said. “Get as many layers of clothing off the patient as quickly as possible. Start the cooling process even as you are calling for help. If the patient is confused, and you don’t know why that person needs to be seen quickly. But while you’re waiting to get them help, ice towel rotations, cool mist and get some air flow going.”

Buchanan said humidity above 70 percent and temperatures nearing 90 degrees makes heat illnesses more common. Buchanan said to avoid the risk, work outside during the morning or evening times, wear loose clothing and always stay hydrated.

“You need to make sure you are taking cool liquid at least six ML per kilogram every two to three hours,” Buchanan said. “That’s a lot for most 200 pound people that is over a half a litter every two hours.”

However, Buchanan said you can do everything right, be hydrated and still have heat stroke if you are not cooling your body. Buchanan said a person can suffer from heat illness in a matter of minutes depending on your physical fitness.

The post Heat Exhaustion Vs. Heat Stroke: How To Spot The Difference appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.